that have a financial or sentimental value, makes this an important
question. Our possessions are often very
important to most of us.
short story is if it is porous and moldy it will probably need thrown away.
This includes cardboard, carpet, padding, stuffed animals and upholstered furnishings. Mattresses and
box springs are on that list.
paper products including books will need
thrown out once moldy or wet from flooding .
For very valuable items such as a family bible, there is an expensive,
but effective freeze drying process that can preserve those items.
appliances that have been exposed to mold will need replaced. The cost of
cleaning some of these items will often exceed the cost of replacement. Failure
to clean these can result in
recontamination of the home.
Food items that have been in
contact or stored in areas with mold should be thrown away.
that have a solid surface such as plastic, glass or metal are easily cleaned
and preserved. Soap and water is the simplest cleaning method. A mixture of 1/2
cup of Clorox to a gallon of water is a great way to disinfect the hard
surfaced materials. Do not use a higher concentration of Clorox as it can
results in injury to people, pets and
the items the mixture contacts.
is readily saved by washing in regular laundry detergent unless the fabric has
been damaged. Mold will clean out of cloth material, but damaged clothing is
not restored to its original condition by washing.
paper materials that did not get wet or damp and do not have visible mold or
damaged may be preserved with simply HEPA vacuuming.
that have some mold exposure but have not been under water may be saved with a professional
cleaning. The exception can be electronics of
appliances that can be damaged by mold. These may require a professional
cleaning. Consult a professional about these items. As an example a hard drive
may be removed from a computer and salvaged, but could be damaged if the
Forced air furnaces can distribute mold through an
entire home. These need addressed as a part of any mold remediation.
Mold can and will live
behind walls. Removal of house wall finishes
may be required to get rid of the mold.
If you do this work yourself, learn and follow the principals of
containment, negative air and air scrubbing.
handling of mold contaminated materials should be done with personal protective equipment such as gloves,
eye protection and masks.
are materials used in the construction of homes that will require
replacement as opposed to cleaning.
Fiberboard is one such example. That material is used in construction as well
as in some HVAC ductwork. Insulation is another common example
#5. How can it affect
my health ? There are many studies and resources to tell us how mold can affect our health. That effect is
highly individual, but we can see correlations that are helpful when entrusted
to medical practitioners. Some molds can trigger chronic conditions like Asthma.
Others can may trigger anything from neurological conditions to eye infections.
#4. Why is mold there
? Why mold is in a home is usually a complicated set of issues. There are usually
multiple causes of mold in any building where it is found. It can be condensation, improper ventilation,
faulty roof yard and basement drainage. Hidden leaks, defective HVAC
installation and elevated humidity are
also some of many possibilities.
#3. How can I make it
go away and keep it for coming back ? Hiring a professional specializing in
environmental assessments may answer the
questions and save money for the
homeowner by addressing the home as whole. Having an environmental consultant
determine the source of the problem, suggesting treatment options and content
questions may save money and provide peace of mind.